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The Feast

A wealthy chief decided one day to give a great feast for his people. Word of the feast was sent out to everyone, along with the day that it would be on. Each family was asked to bring a container of palm wine as a refreshment. On the day of the feast, the chief had had many different kinds of food prepared. No one had ever heard of such a great feast as this one would be. But there was one man who did not have any palm wine to bring. His wife suggested that he buy some from a friend who had plenty of palm wine. Instead, the man reasoned that if he brought a jug of water than a jug of palm wine, no one would notice a difference since it was all going to be poured into the same large container. So the family went to the feast, stopping at a spring to fill their jug with water on the way. When they arrived at the feasting-place, the man saw a line of people with their jugs. He got into the line. When his turn came, he poured the water into the great pot that held everyone else's palm wine. "No one will ever know the difference. How will anyone be able to taste that one of the pots was full of water?" They all sat down in their appointed places. Each person was given a cup, and the chief ordered the cups to be filled. The day was hot; the people were thirsty for the cool palm wine. At last the signal was given to drink. The people sipped from their cups, looked puzzled, and sipped again. Then the chief scowled. For everyone had had the same idea. They had all stopped ...
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